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The history of media in Peru

Peru will celebrate the bicentenary of its independence in 2021. During the last 50 years, three dark periods of authoritarianism, violence and corruption have shaken the foundations of the media and affected its evolution and ownership.

Between 1974 and 1980 the leftist military dictatorship nationalized it. Following the end of military rule, the subversive organization Sendero Luminoso began a war against the state, with assassinations and bombings against journalist and the media among its objectives. On top of this, at the end of the 90s, the authoritarian government of Alberto Fujimori effectively bought the editorial support of the main television channels and some newspapers with huge sums of money, altering the future of the country´s main media.

Aftering failing to buy all media that opposed its second re-election, the Fujimori government began a brutal campaign to discredit that opposition, including stripping media owners of their nationality and property, as well as intimidating the teams of journalists investigating the regime´s corruption and violations of human rights.

Following Fujimori´s flight to Japan in 2000, the provisional government began a series of legal actions to bring about the capture, trial and imprisonment of media proprietors who were seen in dozens of videos recorded inside the National Intelligence Service (SIN) receiving money from the presidential adviser, Vladmiro Montesinos.  Some managed to escape the country. 

Fifteen years after the restoration of democracy, three media groups had been consolidated as the largest based on income: El Comercio (with América Televisión) and the ATV and Latina channels. Part of the legacy from the SIN period remains to this day, particularly in the generation of controversial television content.

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